This is a very good question and was often asked by John Collyer, a good client of Toho. It’s a great question because before anything happens, and usually many times before you get any results, someone has to do something.
Whilst there isn’t a single answer to this question, the one that resonates best for me is, If it is meant to be its up to me!
When something actually gets done it requires an individual to commit to making it happen or at least making a start. That may be leading the project, allocating resources, delegating responsibility or just getting on and doing what’s required.
We all have an opportunity to do more than we do so next time something you care about needs doing in your business or at home, a friend needs help step up and make it happen. You can’t contract out your own leadership so make more opportunities for yourself by doing the stuff that you think is important:
Sometimes that will be as simple as:
- Picking up a piece of paper or a food wrapper when you are on your morning walk
- Organising the next staff function
- Helping your kids get better at something by practicing with them
- Commit the funds to support a good idea one of your staff have had to improve customer experience.
- Have someone check in with each customer personally (not a sales call) once or twice a year.
- Book your tickets to go on holiday
You will observe that some of these examples are about taking action and inspiring others to follow, some are starting something that you may later delegate to others to take over and then the last example is about starting something that you will finish.
You may have already realised that when you live your own truth, you develop some extra powers. I like the saying that Les, my business partner heard from a new client a couple of weeks back, “Brand is what brand does”
What this means is that it isn’t satisfactory just to say, “We support sustainability and recycling “ you have to make sure your business is living the policy.
It is not enough just to use recyclable packaging and eliminate waste in the way you operate.
- You need to educate your clients and staff
- Commit relentlessly to encourage, help and do whatever it takes to convert your products and packaging at end of life into something that is able to be used again
- You have to buy from suppliers that already do this too or alternatively make it a condition of purchasing that they start to and then check they do.
- You need to be consistent and stay true even when this gets uncomfortable and threatens some of your profit.
That sounds a whole lot harder than writing up the policy and using recyclable packaging but that’s what it takes.
Some of you may be asking why would I do that?
Because if you don’t, who is going to do it?
You are responsible for what you say and you will be held accountable in a very public way when you don’t follow through. One of the great things about the connectivity of social media is that everyone has a platform to expose your performance when you operate somewhere below your own publicly stated standards.
There is absolutely no doubt being accountable is gaining momentum and as the real scallywags, are exposed scrutiny will fall on the next worse group and so on. A current example of this is the conviction of Bill Cosby and then the Harry Weinstein case which then lead to the “Me Too Movement”. These convictions and “Me Too” has created a momentum and scrutiny that will roll on to see many more held accountable for not walking their talk.
Need another example? Pope Francis is striving to hold his bishops accountable for the child sex abuse, that has occurred under their watch and has either been denied or covered up. This highlights the importance accountability has in this new age of You Tube and Facebook.